Ethnocentrism And Other Stupid Things.

I talk about racism a lot. However, in recent months I’ve since slowed down on talking about things that often leave me feeling exhausted. Afterall, my mental health takes the biggest hit.

If you’re an avid reader I believe it’s in your best interest to take breaks between reading my posts. The subject matter is often uncomfortable to binge, and despite that fact, these issues need addressing.

Before I took my break, I was on a streak of unapologetically honest (often abrasive) posts. Since coming back I’ve done my best to enjoy writing for the sake of writing. It’s gone well. But true to form, I feel myself returning to that cynic in me. I seem to oscillate between being a teddy bear and being an actual bear. Entering teddy bear mode when I need a break from the world and it’s endless stream of bullsh*t. 

Consider this a potential warning, This post might go to some dark places. 

Edit: I finished writing it, It’s not as dark as I thought it would end up being. Controversial maybe, but not dark.

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As I said before, I talk about racism a lot. There is a tab on my page literally dedicated to black empowerment and all things related to being a black person. People often have a proclivity to assume when I’m talking about racism against blacks I’m automatically referencing white people. No, just racism overall.

If you’re racist you’re not safe from my ridicule. It takes a special kind of ignorance to be a racist. Believe it or not, it’s something you actually have to work hard to nurture. So yes, get offended if you’re racist, you deserve that and more.

Naturally, people often think I’m part of Black History month and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Because I’m black. But I’m most certainly not a fan.

The first is unbridled tokenism. The perfect tool to re-enforce an unspoken divide. If you consider Black History Month at face value you’ll think black people are getting something meaningful, I suppose that’s the intension on a commercial level; to give that impression. And if you believe I’m wrong, that’s great. I just think black history should be a part of American history and not something so isolated and condensed into a small a month lol.

To me. it just comes across as. “Here, have a month to enjoy your contributions to society. Don’t say we never gave you anything” 

But of course, this is just my personal interpretation and doesn’t need to be taken as the truth.

The second: BLM is something I have mixed feelings about. Look, I get it , a number of the injustices faced by the black community in America because of police brutality is staggering. No-one should have to go through that. But the whole movement is now diluted by crazy radicals who are quick to justify racism against whites or push a narrative of blacks being superior.

Any movement has the potential of nurturing rogue cells that misinterpret and misrepresent the initial message (similar to religion). Either through sheer stupidity, hypocrisy, entitlement or a weird blend of all three. 

See, it’s unpopular (as a black person) to call out some of these things because a part of the black community automatically assumes I’m siding with other races. That I’m devaluing the struggles that others have gone through and have fallen for the illusion of racial equality.

Not at all, there is no racial equality, and If given the choice I would always choose to be black.

Try not to take this the wrong way but IDGAF what race you’re from. I care about the human. If you make a habit of putting too much value in our “differences” you’ll enter a never-ending spiral of comparisons. And that breeds hatred and entitlement.

Now you might be wondering why I lead with such a lengthy prelude, it’s to help give context to what I’m about to say. You wouldn’t understand how I came to certain conclusions without it.

I hate racism. That’s obvious.

Despite the semantic overlap there’s one thing I hate more. Ethnocentrism.

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This is going to sound like a hit piece, it’s fine if it gets interpreted that way (check out my references at the bottom in case you’re interested). I’m going to use South Africa (SA) as a case study because I’ve been there and it serves as a living diorama for pornographically entrenched racism, classism, tribalism and other likely -isms I’m too lazy to think of right now.

See, majority of black people in SA are what happens when corruption, a lack of education, entitlement and desensitization to violence meet. Yes, apartheid was terrible, but it is often used as a crutch by the majority to validate their barbaric behavior. And you might think me calling their behavior “barbaric” is pushing it, but take a look at the xenophobic attacks from 2009 – 2019, doing your best to exclude the looting taking place at this very moment.

You’ve got bigots, politicians and tribalists (hardly separable in this case) kindling sentiment against minorities/foreigners in the country which fuels more of this xenophobia. It’s a complete joke, radio silence as people are ransacked or murdered. And when those in charge eventually speak, there is a political rhetoric applied that does nothing to speak against or quell the ongoing violence. Which only emboldens the barbarians of the population to loot and kill unabated. 

The only people who benefit from these kinds of situations are those in charge of the country. They’ve got perfect scapegoats (minorities) to demonize when they need a pressure release; the same people who help keep their economy afloat, whatever’s left of it anyway.

I didn’t mean to get too political, I try and avoid that sort of thing… but it’s driving to a point.

The reason I went on a frenzy is to give evidence to those that dine with racial hypocrisy. Often times, when people are called out by people outside their own race they apply emotion and not reasoning — and because that emotion makes them feel uncomfortable, they run for the racism card. Because it’s easier to rationalize it that way instead of identifying whether there is any validity to what’s been claimed.

Well, here I am, a black person calling out other black people. I dare you to call it racism now. 

Are there people from other races that guise their malicious intent using words such as “barbarians” towards black South Africans? Yes.

But does that take away from the validity of what’s being said? No. Majority in SA are angry over the oppression they faced during apartheid — and the wounds are still present. Check out footage of SA looting during the pandemic and tell me how normal that is. 

There is an underlying self-sabotage that seems to stem from lack of knowledge on how social or economic systems work and how such actions impact the country in the long run. No country is without its imperfections — I would know, my country (if you know it) is a breeding ground for corruption and is not much to look at.

But for someone to be blood thirsty, uneducated, ethnocentric and a racial hypocrite is a bad mix.

The culprits won’t listen to reason because they know better. They won’t go legit because their opportunities were taken from them due to apartheid, they see no recovery. They won’t accept foreigners because foreigners steal the aforementioned opportunities they are not qualified to take. They won’t stop a life of crime because they need to make up for not having a job. They won’t stop xenophobic attacks because their anger needs to be channeled somewhere. And in this hotbed of unreasonables they see themselves as completely justified in everything they do.

I just hope people can learn to open their eyes and see things with more clarity and not just lean on emotion. Otherwise none of us are going anywhere.

I liken this to my extensive research on slavery. It sucks reading about that but at the same time it is very insightful. A part of me still gets hurt thinking about that history. I will never forget what happened, however, it would be unreasonable of me to put every white person I meet under that stencil. 

I’ll base my judgements on character, not skin. Because skin color is fundamentally useful for data collection and building a framework; but it doesn’t automatically make someone a good or bad person. If that sounded obvious, you’re clearly smart.

It would not be a stretch to say there are those who would argue against this. Well, to you I say “You know everything. You clearly don’t need anyone’s help”

 

– O.D. ©2021

 

Art by: iamdetour

 

References:  

Soni, P. 2014. Tribalism in South Africa compromises democracy, freedom, development and the character of the state. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review.

Khuluve, M. 2021. Adult illiteracy in South Africa. Department of Higher Education and Learning.

Landau, L, B. 2015. Political rhetoric and institutions fuel xenophobic violence in South Africa. The Washington Post.

 

 

 

 

12 Replies to “Ethnocentrism And Other Stupid Things.”

  1. This whole post was so powerful! Great read. I really enjoyed the following lines, simple and to the point. Wonderful.❤️
    “Try not to take this the wrong way but IDGAF what race you’re from. I care about the human. If you make a habit of putting too much value in our “differences” you’ll enter a never-ending spiral of comparisons. And that breeds hatred and entitlement.”

  2. As with anything “racism” related, I went in thinking there’s bound to be something we are going to disagree on… yet, I heartily agree with everything you wrote and in fact have had most of the same thoughts and conclusions myself. Like Black History Month, for instance. A token. (On a side note, I also get pissed seeing all the disinformation that happens at that time as well… just more segregation, not truth UGH… then I’m out there saying, no actually that’s NOT the reality, no that’s not quite true, etc etc and I’m sure it comes off poorly but IDGAS either because Truth is Truth.)

    How about we just Remember and Learn the real history, rather than the made up rhetoric which divides (and ultimately conquers). As you mentioned, let the “minorities” duke it out and take the blame.

    Honestly, I wonder why color matters at all. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve followed people over the years and for a long time thought I was reading a woman when it was a man or what have you. It’s the content (the inner person, if you will) that matters, not the skin.

    The other day I was revisiting Fiji twenty years ago, with the “coup”… native figi folks rising up against the Indians who were in government over their people. This was racism, not whites, just racism: traditional natives rising up against their transplanted Indian government officials. Both sides doing some right, both sides doing some wrong. Of course, we, in other countries, painted the natives as the wrong party. But dig deeper, hardly deep at all, to see, they weren’t really. They did what they had to do…. Until they didn’t (because humans will be humans).

    Anyway, I really appreciate this post and I’m going to read it again to really soak it up because there’s a lot of wisdom here to be gained.

    1. Thank you for reading Tara ❤ I appreciate you, as always. Perhaps we'll live long enough to see things such as color not mattering anymore.

      Or maybe I'm being too idealistic lol

  3. Powerful writing! I loved this advice and prayer— ” just hope people can learn to open their eyes and see things with more clarity and not just lean on emotion. Otherwise none of us are going anywhere.”

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